Biology + Politics + Theology(John 15:5)= ME

The Vital Role of Testimony in the Age of Post Modern Reason

by:  Gerard Gee Peñero 

In the Age of Modern Reason, to date back in earlier Centuries prior to our present time, the Christian perspective, together with its merits has been challenged. And one of those compelling opposition is the Modern Reasoning of Agnostics, whom they try to excavate the reason of the Humanity of Jesus Christ ( pointing to one of their many Cases against Christianity), disregarding “supernatural” precepts, knowing that it has nothing to do with the Scientific and Rational World.

Christians, as followers of the Scriptures (which is de facto a manuscript that amplifies Christ existence and Deity) have been aware on this oppositions, which was somehow widely accepted on a fast track. Apologetic’s and Commentaries has been made to amplify the claims of the Scriptures, the Bible, to defend the Christianity and oppose the rising movements. At some point, the church in an enigmatic way (granting the Supernatural aspect of Christianity, Divine Intervention) has preserved its power, and in fact took part in shaping the culture, governments of many nations in the entire globe. Up to this point in time, many questions are still arising in connection with Christianity, its Authority and most especially its Authenticity.

Now looking at the History, the earlier church fathers, defenders, saints (as prescribed by Apostle Paul) has done a great job in preserving the status of Christianity as supreme institution or I should say a “teaching”, despite of the prevailing oppositions which tends to shake the entire see-of-believers. The ball now is pass unto us, to all those who profess to be Christians in this Post Modern Age of Reason. How can we possibly sustain the existence of Christianity as a Universal, Morally Up high and Authoritative set of values instituted by a God, a Powerful and Genuine God in the midst of profound accusations against it?! The question of how can we defend Jesus, our Lord and Savior, to those smart, intelligent-brilliant guys out there, who seem to think that our faith is only driven by an extreme sympathy to the teaching of a brilliant man (named Jesus) just like Buddha, Gandhi, Rizal etc?, a religion by emotion.

That’s where the word TESTIMONY comes in.

Why Testimony?

Maybe some of you might wonder why Testimony is vital in this case? Isn’t the Scriptures a written testimony to prove that Jesus is true?! , questions which may pop-out in your mind as a thinking individual. Your correct, well in fact I insist that the Scripture itself may speak of the deity and authority of Jesus, in fact everything about Him is explained explicitly in the verses, parables, eschatology and etc which comprises the Bible as a whole.

But the Testimony that I am insisting is you, nobody else but you, YOU AS A PROFESS CHRISTIAN :) If we will remember when Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin and Pharisees in the Synagogues (John 18:19-24) , one of the accusations against Him was allegedly He was teaching secretly at His disciples, which at that time a great offense due to the Political Status of the community, where seem to be apocalyptic and anytime a revolution might come as told by the Prophecy (which apparently they didn’t recognize that it has been fulfilled). Now Jesus answered in v.20 “Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in the synagogue or in the Temple, where all Jews meet together, and I have said nothing in secret.” Analyzing the context, the Pharisees are right when they accused Him of such violations, BUT the reason why Jesus answered such things is because of the fact that His teaching apparently is REFLECTED TO HIS DISCIPLES/STUDENTS,  there is no secret teaching because everyday they went out to the temples to interact with other people, to bring salvation, to uplift morality and true faith which our Lord teach them, open for public scrutiny, there is nothing secret about that. Their life is an open book noted when Jesus is teaching them. 

The same thing applies to us, the merits of the Bible,which we read and the things we does, the way we think, should posses a high affinity by either way or another. As ascribed by Apostle James in his epistle, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14) The great Testimony of Christianity is the Christians itself, the manifestation that we believe that we are already in the light of our Lord Jesus Christ must shine to the world, we must stand contrary to the wrong deeds of the world. If we follow Jesus Christ we must bring ourselves on the Ministry of the Poor, we must forget division but rather walk in Unity with Him (Ephesians 4), Treating others more important than ourselves (Philippians  2:3), glorifying God in every walks of our life (1 Cor. 10:31), Submitting to the Authorities for they are instituted by God (Romans 13), thinking no revenge, for God is a God of Justice (Romans 12:19) and many more. Virtues where Jesus stand and extol in His earthly ministry.

Doing contrary things to our belief/faith, is like saying that you believe that the Sun is rising at the East, but waiting at the west to see it shine? There must be a consistency in words and deeds expressed in the lives of the Early Church defenders, that’s why their campaign was such a success to their goals. We must admire and imitate the same character to sustain Jesus’ legacy, through the help of His Spirit. If we believe that Hell is real, and this are for those who did not follow the will of God, are we going to pursue are deeds in perpetuating God’s law? We have to make up our mind. 

Romans 12:1-2, Paul encourage us to make our body a pleasing offering to Christ, Holy unto His sight, so that we may be worthy of the glory that will also revealed in us when Jesus Christ Himself was revealed ( 1 Peter 1:13).  No amount of Exegesis could prove the Humanity and Deity of Christ is connected, Jesus is not just a mere Human but also Divine, as we Evangelicals insist. Without a manifestation of Faith (means to follow and trust w/o regrets) we can’t prove that we are following a real God.

Many are arguing what Bible Version could authentically and extravagantly present that the Scriptures are Sacred, true and authoritative. King James Version? Septuagint? ESV? NIV? or any versions that use flowering words, but for me the GREAT TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE TO SUPPORT OUR CLAIMS ABOUT JESUS IS YOUR LIFE. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD IS REAL, YOU WILL SERVE AND WORSHIP HIM IN REAL. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD IS GOOD THEN WE WILL DO GOOD TO EVERY MOMENTS OF OUR LIFE, KNOWING THAT EVERY GOOD THAT YOU DID YOU’LL GET A REWARD FROM YOUR FATHER.IF YOU BELIEVE THAT GOD IS LOVE, THEN YOU’LL LOVE EVERYONE IRREGARDLESS OF THEIR STATUS . Also let us think that all this things are impossible without the guidance of the Holy Spirit who dwells in all real Christian believers. The whole task is not in us, we are only instruments of God to prove to this world that disregarding Him,everything about Him is foolishness.

 Where do you stand? Is your testimony real?  

 

Examine ourselves (1 Cor. 13:5)

 

GOD Bless

Goodnight :) 

 

E pluribus unum

 Who would have thought that life could be unfair, unfair in the sense that the parts which comprises that life in totally inflict hurtful decisions which may lead to chaotic scenarios in our lives. I have been confronted by this thought 2 weeks ago. In a couple of minutes I felt like somebody who used to be the best person I’ve ever known, drove me away from him. It never got into my senses na he could such things, at my expense. I don’t know the reason behind his motives, I don’t know his plan on doing such things. 

A glimpse of that particular night entails a very sad memory. No amount of words could explain what I felt during that night, seeing how he drag my name into an event, which I know in myself that I am not capable of doing so. The "Onus Probandi" is on me. I don’t know how would I defend myself on such accusations that have a basis, but apparently I can’t commit. In law it falls on the principle of "ajusdem generis", but I know in myself that the thing he wants me to say to other people is something that I myself can’t do so,"doli incapax".


Isn’t it unfair?! It makes me upset, aside from the thought that he consulted others first, before disclosing it with me (since the two of us were involved there), we’ve been good friends for almost many months, and the crime that he is accusing me happens in the past two weeks were I felt that nothing is wrong :( His accusation will eventually  drag my name into the prejudice of other people, who might actually not understand why those things happen. It is reprehensible, reprehensible beyond belief, that of all the people in this entire universe, he is the one who will ruin my good standing among others.

I admit that I do have faults in the parts which comprises our whole story, but I would like to ask him, “was this faults inflicted only by me? ako lang ba?”, and also “did I become a good friend to you?, if so, then why? why me? why now?” All this time I never thought of bad things about you. I lied to other people, I sacrifice my time, my effort to help you, to sympathize with you, to make you happy. But it seems that my efforts was not that enough too satisfy you, that’s why nagkaroon ka ng guts to accuse me of such things.

I did not create this blog to disclose a dark part of my teenage/christian life, I did this to help me analyze na certain things could happen pala, out of the horizon of our intellectual capabilities in thinking or deciphering probabilities. Bigla na lng a certain event would happen out of the blue, magugulat ka na lng, kahit kanino kahit paano. Nakakalungkot the mere thought that STRONG EH! WE HAD THE CONNECTION,ALMOST THERE!” ^_^ 

Sa ngayon we’ve been trying to fix things up, as a teacher-student relationship. Everything so far goes well, well in the sense that we don’t even bother to disclose things with each other, we do not ask one another, HOW ARE YOU?! so we can’t cross our lines/limits. I’m tired of ignoring him, all day long, knowing that it would do no help, no matter how I was badly hurt on his actions. As much as I want to, his not that type of person who would disclose things in a serious talk, ayaw nya ng “ma-drama”.

Nakaka-miss din kaya, pero ganun talga we have to move on.. I’m just hoping na bumalik yung dati, kasi alam ko walang mali, pero minsan parang ayaw ko na, nakaka-awa sarili ko, to think na hindi pala ako nabigyan ng value ng isang tao, that is so valuable to me. Life is define daw by how we are transformed by either love or lost, true! I’ve loss a friend, in de facto a best friend. It kills me every time he is sad/alone and it kills me more knowing that he could be happy with other persons. Does he feel the same way too? In my view, I am a good friend. Saknya kaya? Am I a lost to him? Does he have regrets? I don’t know. Ayoko na din malaman, basta I’m putting it to the hands of God. No amount of prayer would put the words(in the Bible) to justify “my” feeling to that person, on the Biblical merits IT IS WRONG. But in my heart, I hope God would not get angry with me, it is simply love…sharing and imparting good things with someone, irregardless whether you are a she a he or an it. :) It is love, no details, no questions. 

The only consolation left is to forgive, move on and look for great things to come. The possibilities are we became good friends again or we see a good friendship out of our norms. Thanks for being a friend for those days you think I am also one, Thanks for all the dramatic lines which I spalt off to you every time we hurt each other.  THANK YOU GOD BLESS :) 

A song which I would like to sing (kahit pa-joke lng sana in your birthday) but apparently by the events happen , I didn’t do so… But I think it would always be applicable to you, whatever that has been happen to us:

One Friend

I always thought you were the best
I guess I always will.
I always felt that we were blessed, 
And I feel that way, still.

Sometimes we took the hard road, 
But we always saw it through.
If I had only one friend left, 
I’d want it to be you.

Sometimes the world was on our side; 
Sometimes it wasn’t fair.
Sometimes it gave a helping hand; 
Sometimes we didn’t care.

'Cause when we were together, 
It made the dream come true.
If I had only one friend left, 
I’d want it to be you.

Someone who understands me, 
And knows me inside out.
And helps keep me together, 
And believes without a doubt, 

That I could move a mountain:
Someone to tell it to.
If I had only one friend left, 
I’d want it to be you.

'Cause when we were together, 
It made the dream come true.
If I had only one friend left, 
I’d want it to be you.

Someone who understands me, 
And knows me inside out.
And helps keep me together, 
And believes without a doubt, 

That I could move a mountain:
Someone to tell it to.
If I had only one friend left, 
I’d want it to be you.


O Boto ko!

Almost 1 Week before May 2013 National Elections. Guess what?! Im gonna vote na!  In lieu with that I wrote this blog, to present my Top 12 Senatoriables for this coming Election :) 

My rubrics in choosing my Top 12 Candidates was based on a slight rigid research done for a couple of weeks (actually pag may araw lng na sinisipag ako, pero na-check ko lahat ng tungkol sa kanila) I’d also prioritize new candidates for a change naman. I did not choose according to my religious view, neither my church impose such standards or candidates ( I do believe in the principle of Excessive Entanglement, which according to our Constitution is Inviolable) but I make sure that I prayerfully choose such candidates.  As much as possible I tried not to be a partisan in this selection (but I am underwhelmed by the actions/statements of a particular party recently). And now my Top 12 Senatoriables are:

 

#18- Risa Hontiveros

#20- Atty. Marwil Llasos

#6- Teddy Casiño

#2 -Sonny Angara

#3 -Bam Aquino

#24- Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay

#19 -Loren Legarda

# -Dick Gordon

#27 -Koko Pimentel

___________________________________________________

the remaining three I still have second thoughts

#4- Greco Belgica 

#31-Eddie Villanueva

#10- JC de los Reyes

 

 

HEHE. wala lang I hope ne Philippines would have better legislators this time :) GOD Bless Philippines :) 

 

B-O-Y

Hello! I am overwhelmed by the events happening this past few days. I thank God for having such feeling. I don’t know why, but everything seems to be lighter now. Especially with a particular person. :)

I don’t know why, but I would like to believe that everything is OK now for us, even though it is not the set-up I envisioned to be, I’m still happy because things are working well right now. I think that’s the major consolation now for both of us, I’m just wishing that this would never end. I’m happy being happy with you :) FRIENDS :))) 

" Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to whom which God has called him…You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men"
1 Corinthians 7:17,23

________________________________________________________________

Life is about being happy, in accordance with God’s teaching. Allow no one to rule out your life, allow no one to dictate who you must be, what you must do & etc. For God Himself gave us the liberty to choose, but be responsible at all times. Knowing that in everything we do, there is a particular consequence for every action we take.

Ganda :) nakita ko lang….

De-mystifying the grades: If I give you 85 for your recitation, 90 for your report, and 87 for your exams, and if they add up to 87.8 , what do these figures mean? Grades are price tags attached to the students for complying with the labor demand of the teacher. When the student thinks she worked hard and spent longer period of time for the requirements (no absences, no late), she demands full payment. So she accumulates a lot of points, and she patiently put them in the savings bank called Registrar. When the interests mature, she get her Diploma. And when all these points add up to a certain value, she purchases her Transcript of Record. And this diploma becomes money-fiable and the TOR serves as bonds that she uses to exchange her labor with the capitalist. Now you know why students get so greedy about grades! They want a high purchasing exchange value. Their greediness only match the greediness of the system which they aspire to be part of.——GLanuza

My Religion says…..Will I follow it?

(The possible role of Religion in the Filipino Suffrage in 2013)

Gerard Gee Peňero

 

TEAM PATAY…TEAM BUHAY! A controversial slogan bannered by different Chapels and Parishes in the Archdiocese of Bacolod, few months before the May 2013 election. Such banner was posted as an action to “inform” the Catholic voters, in  which who among the candidates in this coming election took part in the success of the RH Law before the closing of the 15th Congress in December 2012.

 

Ayon sa Archdiocese ng Bacolod, ang Team Patay ay ang mga kandidato na pumabor o may parte sa pagkakapasa ng naturang batas sa lehislatura, na anilay isang batas na nagsasa-legal ng aborsyon, imoralidad at anti-humanistic sa kanilang pananaw. Samantalang ang Team Buhay naman ay ang mga kandidato na hindi-pabor sa RH Law o Pro-Life kung kanilang tawagin, at siyang karapat-dapat na iboto dahil anila sila ang mga kandidato na may malinis na konsensiya at karapat-dapat sa kapangyarihan. Nitong mga nakaraang araw ay naglabas din ang Archdiocese ng Lipa ng sarili nitong bersyon ukol sa aksyon ng Bacolod sa isyu ng RH Law at sa darating na Halalan. Isa lamang itong salamin ng marami pang aksyon ng ibat-ibang Religious Institution ukol sa kanilang pananaw na dapat hindi iboto ang mga kandidato na pabor sa RH Law.  Na sa aking pananaw lamang, ay isang uri ng indirect coercion para sa darating na eleksyon.

 

Aking ginawa ang blog na ito, upang ipahayag ang aking pananaw ukol sa aksyon ng mga religious institution, na sa aking palagay ay medyo off-the –line na.

 

 Considering ang kalayaan ng bawat Pilipino o ng bawat tao sa pagpapahayag ng kani-kanilang opinion sa isang particular na isyu, naniniwala ako na ang karapatang ito, ay may kaakibat na responsibilidad o limitasyon. May mga ilang puntos lng ako na gustong bigyan ng pansin, mga argumento na sa tingin ko ay karapat-dapat  na bigyang pansin ukol sa isyung ito:

 

 

  1. Sa aking palagay kailan may hindi dapat mabalewala ang Freewill ng bawat tao, ang kanyang kalayaan na pumili kung sino o ano ang mga bagay na sa tingin n’ya ay makabubuti sa kanya, ayon sa knayang konsensya at prinsipyong tinatayuan. At kailan man, ay hindi dapt impluwensyahan ng sino man, maging ng kahit anong simbahan. Dahil kung mismo ang Panginoon ay hindi namimilit na sumunod sa kanya, ano pa tayo bilang mga kapwa nilikha n’ya? Marahil ang argumento ng mga tao na nasa likod ng aksyong ito ay, “hindi namin ini-impluwensyahan ang mga tao sa kung sino ang kanilang iboboto, binibigyan lamang namin sila ng kaalaman sa kung sino ang dapat iboto ayon sa aming pagpapasiya at konsensya”. Sa akin palagay, ang impluwensya nila ay masyadong bounded sa Doktrina na meron sila at ng iba pang denominasyon, ang kanilang kapangyarihan at posisyon ay sapat ng coercive force para ma-presuade ang kanilang mga congregation to follow them. Asan ang freewill kung indirectly dinidiktahan natin ang mga tao sa kung anung dapat nilang gawin. Ang pag-gamit ng salitang Team Buhay at Team Patay ay isang malinaw na ebidensya na gingamitan ng mga taong ito ang mga taga-sunod ng kanilang doktrina, kung ako ba ay boboto sa team patay, does it necessarily translates na I am not favoring life? o I have no respect dun sa life na bigay ng Panginoon, dahil ito ang pananaw ng mga TAO na under ako ng kanilang authority?
  2. Naalala ko ang panawagan ng isang Obispo nung kasagsagan ng debate ng RH Bill nung 2011, sabi n’ya “don’t legislate in the dogma of the church”.  Now I want to voice out “Church, don’t interfere on Secular matters”, don’t impose the dogma of your doctrines into the policy of the state, because it is clearly stated in the 1987 Constitution Article 2 Section 6 “The Separation of Church and State shall be INVIOLABLE”. If they think it is a moral Issue, then stand on it, but never interfere on the State practice, in this case the Suffrage. The debate on the RH Law has already subsided, the call for morality has been already answered and enough arguments have been raised. Can we just move on?! .Sometimes, I think it is only the Ego of some denominations that keeps them motivated in destroying what has already been established. I understand their stand on this issue, but again I say it is not proper or I guess unethical to mix RH Law in the coming election.
  3. The competence of a Candidate must not be measured in only 1 Law or Bill he/she stands. To all the Churches, don’t be too superficial or emotional in choosing whom to vote.
  4. It is a prerogative of each person religious or not to take part in the issues of the state, guided by their conscience, molded by their culture and religious view. But everything must be put into balance. “Justice Mercy, faithfulness” (Math 23:23) Jesus Christ enumerates the most important things in this world. Where is justice if we condemned other people of being Anti-Life or Unchristian because of a stand which I think they’d also prayed, studied, weighed for? Where is Justice and mercy if we would prevent a person from serving the people because his/her views are against ours?
  5. I am a RH Law supporter, I am a Non-Catholic person, I don’t believe in a Catholic or a Block Vote for a particular denomination, my view on this blog is made not to condemned Catholics and a particular denomination that are Anti-RH, I am not against anyone here. I respect their views, I just want to express my personal stand, and to tell to all the voters who will take part in the coming 2013 Elections, to the 60~ Million Catholics around the Philippines, to the 20~ Million Protestants and other denominations/beliefs, let us not confine ourselves on 1 particular issue in whom to vote, and not to vote. As much as possible think and choose prayerfully, the names of the candidates we will vote. Don’t allow “external-conscience” to rule out your choice. Because at all times, the voice of the majority, of the authorities is NOT the voice of God. The slogan of COMELEC “vox populi vox dei” is untrue. Remembering that Jesus Christ was crucified by the voice of the Pharisees, the voice of the people He loved and wants to save.

 

I would like to end this blog in a saying from our current Roman Pontiff Emeritus Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he once said, “above all ecclesiastical teaching, the most important thing in this world is the individual conscience”

To the Ministers of the Word by GERARD GEE PEŇERO

 

 

 

“If one ventures a word with you, you will be Impatient?,

Yet who can keep from speaking?

Behold you have instructed many,

And you have strengthened the weak hands.

Your Words have upheld him, who was stumbling,

And you have made firm the feeble knees.

But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;

It touches you, and you are dismayed.

Is not your fear of God your confidence

And the integrity of your ways your hope?”

Job 4:2-6 ESV

These were the words argued by Teliphaz, on one of the many debates in the Book of Job, on the issue with regards to the ignorance of Job on the catastrophic circumstances he is facing.  Teliphaz voiced out the role of Job in teaching the multitude on the goodness of standing in God’s promises and provision. In his teaching that instructed many (v.2a), he who strengthen the weak (v.2b). Who upheld and help others to stand firm in the fiasco of their lives (v.3). Indeed Job was a great teacher, a good catalyst for a change in the lives of his people, of his followers during his time (as one of the respected Patriarchs).

But when the fiasco comes into his life, how does he as a teacher, will stand on the undesirable circumstances where he himself was very vocal about?! In our times, how does a Christian (leader) say that “be of good courage” (John 16:33), “fight the good fight of faith” (2 Tim. 4:7), “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7) to himself, words that he used to say to others in the midst of their struggles, when he is the one who is already facing those stuffs? When that moment comes when he felt that his courage was lost, when that moment comes when he can fight anymore in the battles of life, when he can resist the evil because of the strong temptation that is beyond the control of human desire. Just like what happened to Job, that despite of being a good teacher, a good follower of God’s teaching experienced such sufferings. How do we stand as modern ministers of the Word of God, when we ourselves are faced on such tribulations?

We are living in a life full of struggles, we are living in a world which is subject to futility according to Apostle Paul (he himself experienced how cruel life is, how cruel it is to be a Christian, and how tragic it is to be a leader of the Church of Christ, as minister of the Holy Gospel and in his Epistle.) So, as the ministers of the Word of God, as Ambassadors for Christ in this world (2 Cor. 5:20), as the salt and light of God’s nation (Mat. 5:13-16) how are we going to positioned ourselves on the dark points of our lives?

As leaders we are expected to be of good courage all the time, we are expected to be the good example of people who lives the promises of God written in the Holy Scriptures. The whole world, a sea of believers and unbelievers are looking upon us, they were observing the genuineness of the faith that we have. We are like theater actors and actresses who are in the lime light and every move is observed. We are out in a multitude, trying to please God (alone) under the strict observation of people. Everything we do can (or sometimes can’t) affect their lives, their perception in God, their faith in God and etc.

So we as leaders, play a crucial role in molding our society towards God’s kingdom. We as Body of Christ are in-charge in a great reform started by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry 2000 years ago. Everything we do matters a lot to the people God entrusted us, to teach and lead to his presence. In the book of Titus 2:7, it is written that, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, in your teaching show integrity, dignity”, so we as leaders, whatever we say on the congregation, in our cell groups, in a fellowship with a fellow Christian, in sharing hope to a non-believer, we must have that INTEGRITY. It denotes, that whatever we say must be manifested in our actions and perspective, Apostle James said that faith without action is LAME (James 2:18), especially in times of struggles. In those times, we could see our integrity as people who openly speaks of God’s sovereignty in our respective life, that whatever happens God is with us, and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). That everything has a purpose. The moment that we fail to show to those people that we are strong in Christ, the moment that we loose our confidence we have in Christ then that’s the time that we allowed those problems to take away our integrity and much more we are invalidating  Christ’s supremacy on our lives, consequently, it will follow on their lives also. “Nako, si Leader ang tibay ng faith n’yan, magaling s’ya mag motivate, pero natalo s’ya ng problema. Pano pa ako na bata pa sa pananampalataya? Ni-wala sa kalingkingan ng faith na meron s’ya? kakayanin ko kaya?” Words that are hard to hear, because we leaders failed to show the courage and confidence, the FAITH that we have in God, to other people. We denied God’s power if we show to them that we are weak.

That’s why Teliphaz said in v. 5-6, “But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; It touches you, and you are dismayed. Is not your fear of God your confidence

And the integrity of your ways your hope?”. C’mon we are out to prove that God is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, a Mighty One. Just like David, we should be an example of an eagle that soars up high in the midst of a storm. Following Jesus Christ example, which have been persecuted by this world, live in the darkness of the world, we as his followers must have that kind of courage to face anything (faithfully) life has to offer. We are more than conquerors, right?! So stand firm, don’t be dismayed in all problems we are facing. Fuel up our faith in God, so that we may acquire the glory entitled for us when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:13).

The path unto righteousness is narrow Jesus argues in the Book of Matthew. So don’t be surprised if these events are happening in your life, as if you were born yesterday, Paul ascribed in one of his Epistles. Let’s think that God will never tempt us, or give us problems which are beyond our capabilities (1 Corinthians). Taking those problems as an opportunity to glorify God in our lives must be our initial response.

Going back to Job’s story, Job was a righteous man, not only in the sight of man but also in the Sight of God. Well in fact he was heralded because of his righteousness being compared to Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14-20). A teacher, just like us, a minister of God’s word and laws. And I’m sure compare to him, we haven’t acquired that kind of stature both in the eyes of the sinful and divine, so we are not exempted on the struggles of this life. If Job and the other prophets have, we also have. But as stated in Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith”, like Job, in the midst of his trials, he raised his hands-up and put in on his mouth, relying on God’s plan. He never questioned God “WHY?”, he as a teacher, uphold his integrity, as a teacher who speaks that our God is a sovereign God, and his divine wisdom will help us grow in our relationship with him. In the end, the lesson learned was that one may never know the specific reason for his suffering, like all other human experiences, it is directed by perfect divine wisdom, but one must trust God and keep strengthen by His power. I would like to end this message in one of the great calls of Jesus to all of His followers  written in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 11 verse 28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden and I will give you rest” Let Jesus, take over in our problems.

To the Ministers of the Word be strong! Many people look upon us, and we are ought to prove to them the genuineness of the Faith we have. The Authenticity of our doctrines and the realness of God’s existence in the midst of trials we faced in this world, where we doesn’t belong anymore J

 

 

 

 

Losing a Friend…

“What is friendship to you?!” An introductory question was asked by a facilitator in a formation seminar I used to attend for a couple of years already every weekend. Suddenly, it seems like cold water was poured unto me, and suddenly I found myself reminiscing selective events, or I say memories together with a special friend. It’s kinda weird to think, that when the question struck my senses, that person was the one na nag pop-out agad sa utak ko.

“Friendship for me…hmmm.. is an established relationship between two or more people, where love, understanding and respect is present, it doesn’t matter if you have the same or different opinions or perspective, as long as you both know how to respect one another that makes you friends” this was exactly my answer. I don’t know, but it’s pretty obvious that I emphasize the word RESPECT in my answer. Maybe because that’s the reason why I felt that at this point in my life I’ve lose a friend, well in fact a best friend.

Respect is something everyone deserves no matter who that person is. I myself is very particular on this matter. But somehow, because of what happened with us, I questioned if respect really an essential part in establishing ties between people.

Because of the fact that I want that person to respect me, or maintain a boundary to that particular person, for other people to see that I am also entitled a piece of respect to them. I UNCONCIUSLY LOSE THAT PERSON.

In my attempt to teach that person a lesson, lesson in life that I already knew. I LOSE THAT PERSON.

In my attempt to be a”kuya” to that person, he finds it nakakahiya for other people to see, in latter he wants me to stop and suddenly I LOSE THAT PERSON.

In my attempt to make him feel that he doesn’t deserve a life of misery, and by helping him, by being with him I can alleviate his burdens, he finds it boring consequently I find myself of no help to him. I LOSE HIM.

I don’t know where I went wrong; I don’t know what I’ve done to make him feel na ganun. Maybe nakakzsakal ako, maybe masyado akong caring for a friend (which I think wala naming mali). I don’t know the reason why we are now in this kind of situation.

Everything is normal, we still talk, work together, on weekends sleep together. But even though things may seem to be normal at this point in time, I still feel that there is something wrong, or I guess this is not normal.

I really missed that person, I really miss those days na kung saan magaan lahat ng bagay. Kahit anung pagod sa pagkilos, alam mo na you’re doing this to help someone. Alam mo na everythonh you are doing is appreciated. Alam mo na kapag pagod ka na, napagod ka kasi tinulungan mo s’ya at doon nagpapasalmat s’ya. Alam mo na sapagtulog n’yo katabi mo yung tao na nakaka-appreciate sa’yo hanggang pag-gising mo. Yung tao na magpapasama sa’yo sa taas para kumuha ng unan, natatakot s’ya kasi madilim. Yung tao na parehas kayo ng trip. Yung tao na worth it lahat ng bagay na binibigay mo dahil alam mo na nakakatulong ka sakanya. Yung tao na magtatatnong sa’yo kung “OK ka lng ba?”. Tatawagin ka sa bahay n’yo para pumunta sa pupuntahan n’yo. Yung tao na unang nag-hug sa’yo mula pagtulog hanggang paggising. Yung tao na akala ko hindi magbabago…

Siguro nga mali ako, wala naman permanent sa mundong ito, nothing’s ever built to last ika nga. Lahat ng bagay nagbabago, kahit tao. Nanghihinayang ako sa friendship na meron na ako/tayo. Nalulungkot ako kasi yung bagay na nagging normal sa’kin for a couple of months ay nagiging bagay na hindi normal na sa’kin ngayon. Dahil dapat kong sanayin yung sarili ko na baka hindi na bumalik yung dati. Nakakalungkot, kasi nawalan ako ng kaibigan na gaya mo. Hindi ka man nawala Physically, napakahirap isipin na hindi na natin gingawa yung mga bagay dati, o yung kung pano tayo dati.

 Sobrang nami-miss kita, there are time na gusto ko makipag-kulitan at asaran ulit, nararamdaman ko na may mga pagkakataon din na gusto mo makipag-asaran gaya ng dati. Pero napakahirap, wala naman akong pride na dapat kainin. Ayoko na rin ipasok yung usapin ng respeto, dahil alam ko na kahit magkalayo yung edad natin hindi yun nagging hadalang para magkaroon tayo ng friendship na kakaiba. Nagseselos ako sa mga kaibigan mo ngayon, nagseselos ako dahil alam ko kung pano mo alagaan yung mga tao sa paligid mo. Nalulungkot ako, dahil alam ko na hindi na ako parte ng pag-aalaga mo na yun.

Natatakot akong umalis ka, kaya hindi ko na ipipilit yung sarili ko para bumalik yung dati pa.

Thank you ha! J kahit madalas ko ma-feel yung selos kapag may nakakakuha ng attention mo, nagpapasalamat ako sa’yo kasi dahil yata sakabaitan mo kaya ako nagging ganun. I would still be your kuya or a friend kung anung gusto mo. I would still help you kung kelangan mo, I will still care for you even if sabihan mo pa ako ulit na mag-stop na ko.

 I love you. And whatever happens I will still be here for you because I can’t afford to lose a friend like you.

 

 

 

 

 

Kapag nagbabasa ako ng mga Essay’s, Post’s ng mga Agnostics, Atheist etc. nakaka-challenge at the same time nakakalungkot kasi totoo yung mga comments nila sa mga Gnostics, kaya dapat ang mind set natin (especially us Christians) is to prove to them na yung God natin totoo, by our works hindi through debate. Thumbs up to all those people who does’t acknowledge the existence of the omnipotent God, pero alam nila how to be humane in all aspects. Thumbs down to all who claim to have religions pero hindi alam maging humane. HAHA, sorry to be rude, pero totoo

"Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall."
2 Peter 1:10 ESV

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Even before we are born we know that we are already chosen by God (John 15:16). He knows who will be saved, even before the creation of this world (Ephesians 1:4). All we have to do is prove, that we are worthy of the salvation, calling end election we have. Those qualities enumerated by Peter on the prior verses (2 Peter 1: 9) must be lived-out by each and every man/woman professing to be CHRISTIANS.By that we can prove that we are really followers of God. For we are the chosen people that will testify to the world on the light which called us out of the darkness ( 1 Peter 2:9).

Nakaka-bless ‘tong verse na ‘to kanina habng nakikinig ako ng midweek though ito yung pinaka-conclusion ni Pastor at hindi talga yung key verse n’ya:

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in cthe work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 
-1 Corinthians 15:58
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Maging motivated servants of Christ tayo, no matter how small or big yung ministry na na-assign natin :) Pero hindi din dapat blessings ang maging motivation sa pagse-serve. Dapat we take it as a great previlage for despite of being worthless, unfaithful and sinful eh napili nya tayo (John 15:16), at nagagawa natin yun because of Him (Philippians 2:13; John 15:7)

Thinking Biblically about LOVE by Michael L Gowens

MUST READ: ^^

Everyone is a philosopher when it comes to love. Definitions are “a dime a dozen.” Love is, says one person, a many, splendid thing. Another sings, “love is a rose,” fragrant and beautiful, but thorny and painful, and another suggests that “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Shakespeare wrote in Merchant of Venice, “love is blind.” Gilbert said, “it’s love that makes the world go round,” and Tennyson suggested that it is “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I am convinced, however, that most people, if forced to define “love,” could do no better than Thomas Middleton: “Love indeed is anything, yet indeed is nothing.” The modern mind thinks of love in vague, nebulous, existential, and non-definable terms. “It’s something that happens to you,” people say, “not something that you can define.”

This emotional, feeling-oriented, brand of “love” is promoted not only in music and literature, but by the popular media culture. Television promotes the “love as romance/passion” model so relentlessly, that even many Christians are confused about this important subject. In fact, Hollywood has so successfully infiltrated the Church with its view of romantic love , that the person who questions it or attempts to suggest an alternative position is suspect as an unrealistic, unfeeling odd-ball, if he is even understood. I am aware of that risk as I write. As I proceed to expose the unbiblical notions people have concerning “love,” and attempt to reprogram the reader’s mind to think about this subject Scripturally, I expect someone will begin to feel sorry for my wife, or say, “I’m sure glad I’m not married to you.” But I proceed, because of a deep conviction that misunderstanding about love is at the heart of most relational problems.

OLD WIVES’ FABLES

Misconceptions about love are commonplace, even among professed Bible believers. The need for clear-headed, Biblical thinking about love in this day of disintegrating families, pandemic divorce, and domestic redefinition cannot be exaggerated. Let’s highlight some of the most popular myths and “old wives’ fables” regarding love.

Fable #1: Love is something one “falls into,” something out of one’s control, something that cannot be helped. Most people, like poor Woody Allen, are miserable because they look for love in all the wrong places. Like the impotent man by the pool of Bethesda, they spend their days “waiting for the moving of the water,” waiting for something to happen to them magically and suddenly, waiting for their “ship to come in,” oblivious to the fact that the only One who can truly transform a life stands in their midst, ready to bless those who will trust and obey Him (Jno. 5). 

Like the impotent man, most people think of love magically, as something that happens to them, over which they have no control. For example, a man “falls in love” with a woman. It is “love at first sight.” Five years later, he decides that he doesn’t love her anymore, and in fact, wonders if he ever “truly” loved her at all. So, he leaves, justifying his actions by the “I-can’t-help-how-I-feel” excuse. Society agrees that he is right to leave since he no longer feels anything for her, and even commends his bold step as an act of self-honesty: “If he is telling the truth for the first time, then he’s to be commended for stepping forth and living a lie no longer. Life is too short to spend it with someone you don’t love. His wife must realize that you can’t make another person love you.” According to the secular mentality, this husband would be a hypocrite if he stayed with his wife. Better to be honest with oneself, it rationalizes, than to live in hypocrisy.

It sounds logical, doesn’t it? I mean, if he doesn’t love her anymore, what else can he do? Right? Wrong! Contrary to the popular definition, hypocrisy is not action contrary to one’s feelings (i.e. feeling one way but doing another) but action contrary to one’s profession (i.e. saying one thing but doing another). “If we say we have fellowship with Him, but walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” says John (I Jno. 1:6). “He that saith, I know Him, but keepeth not His commandments, is a liar” (I Jno. 2:4). Hypocrisy is the failure to practice what you preach, not the denial of some inner emotion. When Jesus called the Pharisees “hypocrites,” was He saying that they were not being honest with themselves? Did He accuse them of living contrary to their feelings? No, He accused them of giving lip service to the Law of God while refusing to practice its tenets. Society conditions us to think of feelings as the ultimate guide to behavior. “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right,” a song popularized in the 1970’s suggested. Somehow, we have come to believe that emotions are indicators of reality and, to contradict them is tantamount to hypocrisy. Someone says, “I would have been at church yesterday, but I didn’t feel very spiritual and I didn’t want to be a hypocrite.” May I suggest that the person who has “named the name of Christ” in public profession acts hypocritically by staying home, not by contradicting his emotions, because his action is inconsistent with the profession he made to follow Jesus Christ. The prevalent idea that a behavior orientation (i.e. doing right because it is right) toward life is sub-spiritual and that only a feeling orientation (i.e. doing right only if you feel like it) is pleasing to God is unbiblical. 

Undoubtedly, because this husband had promised, before God, to love his wife until death, his hypocrisy was in the act of deserting his wife, not in staying with her and fulfilling his marriage vows. The world says, “at least he was honest.” God’s word says, “he was supremely dishonest, for he broke the vow he had made before God.” Have you ever thought about such a familiar scenario as I’ve described from this Biblical perspective? I’m convinced many people have not. In fact, many Christian’s would be surprised to know that the Bible says nothing about a kind of love one “falls into.”

Fable #2 - Romantic love is the basis for marriage. Without question, most people believe that it is wrong to get married when romantic love is absent. In Biblical times, however, marriages were frequently arranged by parents. On many occasions, a husband never laid eyes on his wife until he removed the veil on the wedding day. Granted, such practices are difficult for people in a culture like ours to conceive. I am personally grateful that I had a choice in the selection of a life partner; nevertheless, the pre-arranged relationships of eastern cultures were just as viable, if not more, than modern marriages in the west. 

It may surprise the reader to know that people actually once covenanted in marriage though they were not romantically involved and proceeded to develop a fulfilling, durable, and enjoyable relationship. How did they do it? They learned to love one another. Learned to love? Yes, learned to love. This does not sound nearly so foreign when one remembers the structure of the traditional wedding ceremony. During the ceremony, the minister does not attempt to discern whether the couple loves one another. He asks each to promise and to vow to love the other. He does not ask, “Do you really feel love, true love, for each other?” He insists that they consider love as an obligation of marriage: “Will you promise to love…until death do you part?” 

Promise to love? You may wonder, “How can someone ‘learn’ to have a feeling? How can someone promise to feel a certain way until death?” That’s exactly the point: he can’t. Emotions are by their very nature unsteady, inconsistent, and ambivalent. They vacillate with the ebb and flow of circumstances. But love, according to God’s definition, is not primarily a feeling, but an action. Biblical love is not the victim of one’s emotions, but the servant of one’s will. Marriages are predicated, consequently, on each partners pledge to commit themselves to act toward the other in a certain way, the way God’s word calls “love.” Even if the warm fuzzies of romance are absent; even when the novelty of the relationship has lapsed into the familiar; even when the initial emotional intensity has leveled off, a couple can still cultivate a loving, satisfying, and God-honoring relationship that is based on a mutual commitment to the other’s welfare and obedience to the word of God. In fact, that is the marital ideal, according to the Bible.

Fable #3 - Loving oneself is basic and fundamental to a happy, stable life. It was once generally accepted that man’s greatest problem was pride, an inordinate self-interest. Now society tells us that man’s greatest problem is that he thinks, not too highly of himself, but too lowly. He has “low self-esteem.” Virtually every vice, from disruptive behavior to murder, is interpreted as an expression of low self-esteem. Interpreting human behavior through the philosophical grid of “victimism,” psychotherapists suggest that the perpetrator cannot really be blamed for his conduct. He is merely reacting to circumstances that displease him because he has no inner sense of significance and personal worth. What he needs, they say, before he can function properly in a social context, is a new appreciation for his own uniqueness, a new sense of his own importance and dignity. Once he has developed this “love of self,” we are told, he will have the motivation to resist drugs, make good grades, and overcome the feelings of despair that come with life’s inevitable disappointments. Pop singer Whitney Houston promotes the gospel of self-love in a contemporary song:

I believe that children are our future; Teach them well, and let them learn the way; Teach them all the beauty they possess inside; Give them a sense of pride…

The message is subtly packaged in a beautiful musical arrangement, accented by Houston’s captivating voice. She continues:

I determined long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow, If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live and die, believing, No matter what they take from me, They can’t take away my dignity; Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me; Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

Is “the gospel according to Whitney” consistent with the gospel according to Jesus? What did Jesus say was “the greatest love of all?” Learning to love yourself? Absolutely not! According to the Lord Jesus Christ, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jno. 15:13). The Lord interprets love in terms of self-sacrifice, or if you please, unselfishness, not self-centeredness and self-concern. 

Far from producing happiness and stability, self-love breeds heartache and confusion. Marriages disintegrate, not thrive, when selfishness prevails. The moment each partner begins to prioritize self before the other, the relationship is destined to fail. What would happen to a family of five if every member adopted a self-absorbed mentality? If each lived for himself and not for the other, what would become of the family? Sadly, the answer to that question is all too apparent in the demise of the home in western culture. 

"I’m not getting what I want out of this relationship," one mate says to another. "I don’t think I love you anymore." I suggest that this person has not even started to understand the meaning of love. In fact, I maintain that many people who say "I love you" are really saying, in the words of the automobile commercial, "I love what you do for me." Self-love is not missing; love is. "I don’t think I love you anymore" means "You don’t do for me what you once did and I love myself too much to stay here any longer." Self-love, expressing itself in self-protection, self-defensiveness, self-assertiveness, and self-righteousness destroys relationships. It doesn’t build them. Christianity, on the other hand, expressing itself in self-denial, self-humbling, self-forgetfulness, and self-sacrifice provides a rock-solid foundation for a marriage that sings.

People do not have to “learn” to love themselves. Because man was created in the image of God, he is a self-conscious creature. Sin has perverted and distorted this natural self-awareness, however, so that fallen man tends to idolize and deify the self, devoting his every energy and affection to the service of the self. “No man ever yet hated his own flesh” argues Paul (Eph. 5:29). If a man has a headache, he takes an aspirin, because he loves himself too much to allow his body to hurt. If he is fatigued, he rests, because he loves himself too much to allow himself to be uncomfortable. On the basis of this principle, Paul argues that men should love their wives like they love their own bodies. In other words, a man should take the same pains to relieve his wife’s burdens and promote her welfare that he takes for his own body. His primary interest should be her well being, not his own comfort. That is real love - selfless, sacrificial behavior that “esteems others more important than self” (Phi. 2:3). This kind of love must be “learned” and developed, for it doesn’t come naturally. But in a fallen world, it is the only kind of love that will produce the happiness that comes from a stable relationship.

THREE KINDS OF LOVE

What then is the Biblical view of love? It is expressed by the Greek word agape. Interestingly, agape was virtually a Christian invention. Prior to the New Testament, agape was used rarely in Greek literature. The New Testament elevates agape to prominence as the single concept that best expresses the meaning of love. Agape is the God-kind of love. It is a brand of love that is virtually unknown to modern man. Instead, people think of love in terms of two other Greek nouns, eros, passionate or romantic love, and phileo, friendship or brotherly love.


(1) Eros - Romantic Love: When most people think of “love,” they think in terms of eros (from which we derive the English “erotic”). Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says concerning the Grecian concept of eros:

"This is the passionate love that desires the other for itself. The god Eros compels all but is compelled by none….eros masters us and confers supreme bliss thereby….the original idea is that of erotic intoxication." (p. 7) This passionate, self-centered, uncontrollable, intoxicating “love” is promoted by virtually every sector of our society. Romance novels, motion pictures, floral companies, and record labels feed on the public appetite for eros. Does such a thing as eros, that is, romance, really exist? Why, certainly. But it is not synonymous with Biblical love. In fact, eros is love in its crudest and lowest form. The high and noble concept of Biblical love is something entirely different. Yet when most people “look for love,” claim to be “in love,” or express love to someone else, they are thinking in terms of eros. To them, romance is life’s supreme glory and matrimony’s supreme achievement. When a couple possesseseros, they believe that they have finally secured that rarest of all gems, the priceless jewel of “love.” They have “arrived.” 

They fail to realize, however, that this romantic attraction is, first of all, not very rare, and secondly, only the beginning, not the point of arrival, of a godly relationship. Eros is the kindergarten of love. It is the phase in a relationship when two people are attracted to one another, physically, emotionally, and/or intellectually with a magnetic fascination. It is the same kind of natural attraction that motivates a female bird to select one mate above several rivals, each vying for her attention. That is not to say that eros is strictly a form of animal passion, for, in contrast to animals, people may very well experience an attraction at the intellectual and emotional levels, as I mentioned previously. But, like the bird, different people have different personal preferences and what appears attractive to one person may not appeal to another. This attraction manifests itself by an unusual preoccupation with another person. When separated, the heart longs for his company. When together, the stomach flutters, the palms become clammy, and the couple becomes oblivious to everything around them. This is the kind of experience that makes young people “cow eye” and makes old people “feel young again.” 

I don’t deny that such a phenomena as eros exists. Further, I concede that most relationships begin at this level. But this is not love — not Biblical love, at least. Because so many people mistake romance for love, it is no wonder that married people “fall out of love” as quickly as they “fell into” it. Once the novelty and the sense of mystery is gone; once the initial excitement has been replaced by the routine of daily responsibilities; once one knows the other person through and through; once one becomes utterly familiar with the faults, foibles, and idiosyncrasies of one’s partner, those mellow, dreamy feelings can all too easily slip away.

Neither is it a wonder when one partner suddenly announces that he has “fallen in love” with someone else and, in fact, has not been “in love” with his spouse for years. “How can these things happen?’ someone asks. Why do people “lose that loving feeling”? Because they mistake eros for love. The individual who convinces himself that “love” lost in one relationship can be recaptured in an adulterous relationship will eventually leave that relationship for yet another, and that for another, for he is living by his feelings, and the intensity of romance inevitably wanes as the sense of mystery fades into the realm of the utterly familiar. 

Just because someone may seem interesting, fascinating, or attractive to you does not mean that you are “in love” with him. In fact, everyone will periodically come into contact with others who possess characteristics that intrigue and attract attention. The individual who loves his/her spouse Biblically, however, will recognize this magnetism for what it is, an untrustworthy, temporary, and potentially destructive emotion, and will permit it no entrance into his thoughts. 

Sadly, most people make the discovery and perpetuation of eros the goal of their relationship. Even in Christian circles, romance is frequently exalted as the marital ideal. Christian books on marriage often emphasize the “love as romance” model, suggesting that “the honeymoon doesn’t have to end.” Is this a legitimate emphasis? Perhaps. But the point is that romance is not, in and of itself, the essential ingredient of a marriage that glorifies God and brings fulfillment to each respective partner — love is. 

(2) Phileo - Friendship Love: Recognizing society’s misdirected emphasis on eros, some married couples have aspired to a higher level in their relationship and have redefined the marital ideal in terms of “enjoying the other’s company.” ‘My husband is my best friend,’ says one wife. ‘We just enjoy being together. We can talk to each other about anything and everything. Not only do we love, we also likeeach other.’ The Greek word phileo, translated ‘love’ in the New Testament, conveys the thought of friendship love. English words philanthropy (love of mankind), philosophy (love of wisdom), and philharmonic (love of harmony) are compounds of phileo, as is the proper name Philadelphia (brotherly love). The word means “to treat somebody as one’s own relative” and is used in common Greek for love between spouses, between parents and children, between employers and employees, and between friends. 

Phileo
 conveys the idea of a common interest. Like eros, it is a concept that involves the feelings. The word carries various emotional nuances, including “to be content with,” “to have warm affection for,” and “to like or value.” Unlike the Greek term eros, which never appears in Scripture, phileo appears some thirty times in the New Testament. 

Is the friendship kind of love important in a relationship? Yes. In fact, God gave marriage, first and foremost, to satisfy man’s need for companionship: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). Togetherness, consequently, is essential to a godly marriage: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh” (Eph. 5:31). The “one-flesh” nature of the marital relationship makes the cultivation of a friendship between husband and wife a priority. It is imperative, therefore, that couples take time to communicate, spend time together, make eye contact, and be attentive to each other. By nothing more than mere negligence, many people lose that person-to-person contact that is so necessary to maintain a viable marriage. He becomes preoccupied with work, cutting the grass, servicing the car, and paying the bills, and she tends to throw all of her energies into cooking the meals and taking care of the children, until they one day awaken to the fact that they are virtual strangers to each other. Togetherness is the key word here, not mere geographic togetherness (though physical presence is important), but a sharing of the blessings and burdens, laughter and tears, hopes and disappointments, of every day experience as a team and a unit. In the harried pace of daily life — in the mad rush to fulfill family responsibilities, husbands and wives who do not take time to maintain and improve interpersonal contact between themselves will soon discover a distance between them that seems impossible to bridge. Such a relationship is not consistent with the Biblical mandate to “cleave” to one another in a covenant of companionship. 

Perhaps a wife who feels neglected or a husband who feels overlooked is reading my words. You can say a hearty “Amen” to the previous two paragraphs. This is the message you have been trying to get across to your mate over the past few months. You are dying for his/her attention. You feel unloved because your mate seems to have no time for you. Your marriage lacks, not passion, but friendship. This is, in your mind, your greatest desire in marriage. If you could just experience this kind of friendship with your spouse, a real relationship, not a mere coexistence, then you would have found “true love.” 

Well, as important as phileo is in a marriage, it is still not the essence of Biblical love. It is not the ideal. It is not God’s goal for us. May I make a startling statement? Even in relationships devoid of romance and friendship, a couple may still learn to love. In other words, a successful marriage is not ultimately dependent on either eros or phileo. Even if you and your mate have long since lost the intensity of romantic passion, and even if you scarcely know one another any more, you can still cultivate a loving relationship through the practice of agape. A marriage without eros and phileo is not destined to fail, but a marriage without agape is. 

(3) Agape - Sacrificial Love: I’m convinced that most people do not think about love Biblically. What we mean when we talk about “love” and what God means when He talks about “love” are two different things. In fact, the eros and phileo concepts are so deeply ingrained into our intellectual grid of life that agape may be, upon first glance, somewhat repugnant to us. After all, it sounds so “unromantic.” “It is so contrary to what I’ve always thought,” someone says. But agape is the word the Holy Spirit employs (and in fact, virtually coins) to define “love” over two hundred fifty times in the New Testament. 

What is this foreign kind of love known as agape? It is the kind of love that God has for His elect. God does not love His people because He is attracted to them, for there is nothing attractive in them. God determined to love them in spite of their sin: “God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). God’s love is an act of the will, not of the emotions. It is something He decides to do, not something He passively feels. 

Further, he expressed his love by voluntarily giving His own Son to die for those whom He had purposed to redeem. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (Jno. 3:16). He covenanted, unilaterally, to do everything necessary for their salvation. God the Son committed himself to bear their iniquities and to suffer the wrath of God in their stead. Voluntarily, He divested Himself of His divine prerogatives, subjecting Himself to death, even the ignominious death of the cross. John writes, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I Jno. 3:16). Love, the God-kind of love, is defined by the cross. There we learn that agape involves a commitment to the welfare of another without any consideration of worthiness in the loved one. Agape is a love that gives to others, not that desires for oneself. It is self-sacrifice with an aim to make the loved one great. In a word, agape is selflessness. 

The key words in the definition are “commitment,” “others,” “giving,” and “self-sacrifice.” In simple terms, love is a way of behaving toward another person, not a nebulous, mystical emotion. In Scripture, love is a command. We are commanded to love God and love our neighbor (Mt. 22:37). Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another” (Jno. 13:34). Paul said, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). Note he does not say, “Husbands, feel affectionate and romantic toward your wives.” No, feelings cannot be commanded, but love can, for love is an act of the will, something that one makes up his mind to do and then he does it. Paul’s words, written in the imperative mood, express a command that husbands are obliged to obey. Husbands are under an obligation to sacrifice their own comforts and “needs” for the benefit of their wives, in the same way that the Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for the church. Likewise, Jesus issues the imperative, “Love your enemies” (Mt. 5:43). Does Jesus want us to drum up pleasant emotions for those who have abused us? Obviously not. He commands us to love them by choosing to show them favor and goodwill.

THE PROFILE OF AGAPE

In specific terms, I Corinthians 13:4-7 profiles the characteristics of Biblical love: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth.

Did you notice that Paul does not describe what love is, but what love does? He does not use adjectives to describe love. He does not say “Love is beautiful” or “Love is wonderful.” Instead, he uses verbs, words of action, to describe love: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous, self-promoting, proud, rude, selfish, angry or suspicious….” If you really love someone else, says Paul, you will treat them with patience, kindness, and unselfishness. Do you realize what that means? That means that when one is impatient, unkind, jealous, and rude to someone else, he does not love that other person. The profile of love in I Corinthians 13 can be summarized in four categories:

(1) Love’s Heart (vs. 4a,5c) - The person who loves another behaves in kindness, patience, and tenderness. Every action is born from a sincere desire for the happiness of the loved one. Love does not have a short fuse (“is not easily provoked”) but is “slow to wrath,” suffering long with the faults and imperfections of the loved one. Love is the act of showing patience, not irritability, when others falter, and kindness, which is the proof of patience. Love doesn’t nitpick at petty annoyances. Do you love your mate? Let me rephrase the question. Do you respond to your spouse’s little quirks and annoyances in patience and kindness? If not, start now, for God commands you to love.


(2) Love’s Attitude (vs. 4b-5b) - Love displays itself by a commitment to unselfish living. Notice the emphasis on “self” in verses four and five: “Charity envieth not [i.e. is not self protecting]; charity vaunteth not itself [i.e. is not self-promoting], is not puffed up [i.e. is not self-inflated], doth not behave itself unseemly [i.e. is not self-glorifying], seeketh not her own [i.e. is not self-seeking].” In a word, love is not selfish. Analyze the next argument you have with your spouse. How many times did each of you use the word “I”? Nine times out of ten, selfishness is at the root of marital conflict. Pride, self-interest, and egotism are the antitheses of love. Love is never rude or jealous. It esteems the other more important than itself. Do you love your spouse? Let me rephrase the question. Are you denying yourself for your partner’s benefit? If not, then start now, for God commands you to love.

(3) Love’s Judgment (vs. 5d-6) - These two expressions, i.e. love thinks no evil and love rejoices not in iniquity but in the truth, express what might be termed “the judgment of charity.” Love involves giving another the benefit of the doubt and assuming the best possible motives, not the worst. Love does not keep a record of past offences. It “thinketh no evil.” It’s judgment therefore is not colored by resentment. It does not take into account past wrongs. How many married partners have so allowed past hurts to fill their hearts with resentment that they automatically assume the worst motive when the other speaks. Instead of listening to what is said, they become very artful at “reading between the lines.” They constantly ask each other, “What did you mean by that statement?” If the other replies, “I meant nothing more than what I said,” they react, “Sure, I know what you were really saying.” They are more inclined to believe the worst than to believe the truth. Conversation filled with innuendo is a destructive habit for couples to develop. But so is the attitude that insists on reading the worst motives into the things that one’s partner says and does. It is, in fact, very unloving. Do you love your spouse? Let me rephrase the question. Do you automatically give him/her the benefit of the doubt and assume the best of motives? If not, then start now, for God commands you to love.

(4) Love’s Tenacity (vs. 7-8a) - The final five statements suggest that love does not cease. Like the rabbit on the battery commercial, it keeps on going, and going, and going. In other words, it is impossible for love to die. Do you believe that statement? Think about it carefully. I didn’t say that it’s impossible for romance to die, or for happiness to die, but for love to die. Neither did I say that it is impossible for a person to cease to be committed to the other. But where commitment is present, it is impossible to destroy that relationship. Heavy burdens cannot destroy it, for love ‘beareth all things.’ Suspicion cannot destroy it, for love ‘believeth all things.’ Discouragement cannot destroy it, for love ‘hopeth all things.’ Difficult trials cannot destroy it, for love ‘endureth all things.’ In fact nothing can destroy it, for love ‘never faileth,’ that is, it never ceases. “Many waters cannot quench love.” When one person is committed to self-sacrifice for the benefit of another, no burden will be too heavy. Love is the willingness to bear all burdens, to trust your partner implicitly, to expect the best, and to endure the worst. Love is the commitment to keep on keeping on regardless of circumstances around you, feelings within you, and consequences ahead of you. Charity never faileth. 

Do you love your spouse? Let me rephrase the question. Are you committed to unselfish living for the long haul? Is that commitment the sole factor in the future of your relationship? If not, then start now. Take the initiative to be kind. Bear insult and injury meekly. Go out of your way to make your partner happy. Forget about receiving anything in return. Commit yourself to a life of serving your mate. Away with rude remarks, biting sarcasms, irritability, judgmental criticism, and petty egotism. Sacrifice your own happiness for the happiness of your companion. Focus on being the kind of person God requires you to be and don’t attempt to make your mate hold up their side of the bargain. After all, you promised to love, until death, period. Regardless of your spouse’s behavior, you vowed to love. This is the kind of love that God commands. 

On the authority of God’s word, I guarantee that every couple who lives like this will never meet a problem that will kill their relationship, because charity never faileth. Furthermore, as a by-product of sacrificial love, the warm feelings of romance and the quiet contentment of friendship will resurface, sporadically at first, and more regularly as your years increase - together.

JCMCC @ 20 

Goodnight! 9:45pm na, Dec. 29,2012. Ayun katatapos lang ng Anniversary Celebration ng Church, 20 years yun ASTIG! Trully it has been an awesome event para sa bawat isa, at para sa’kin lalo na. Yung theme for this year ay Majestic Voice in God’s Glory (Verse: 1 Peter 1:17). Masaya, the usual sobrang filled na filled yung venue ng Holy Spirit, despite of the fact na mas konti yung dumating ngayon as comapre to dati, approx 150~ lang yata yung andun kanina, pero hindi pa din nalimitihana yung power ng Lord dun sa event. HEHE, im speaking in a Christian Way, nakakapanibago di ba?! sa Blog kasi ayoko ng ganun, para di awkward pag binasa mo.

Anyways, sobrang ganda lang talga nang event, especially yung preaching ni Pastor Rommel Guevarra (BIGATIN!!!), nakita ko na ang isa sa mga greatest composer ng mga Filipino Worship Songs, may pa-bonus pa dun sa Good news na ni-preach n’ya as for the celebration of our 20th Anniversary with the guidance of the Holy Spirit syempre. Yung tpoic n’ya was centered on How we could please God? As a Christian, normal na sagot natin is to do His will and to serve Him, I guess its right, and I would also go with that kind of answer. Pero Pastor Rommel emphasizes the fact that PLEASING GOD IS NOT ABOUT SERVING HIM! IT IS NOT ABOUT WORSHIPPING HIM! Kung ANO? Hebrews 11:6 has the answer, it is written ” for WITHOUT FAITH it is IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM”. Having faith is the only way that each and every Christian must have in order to please God. Having a COMPLETE TRUST and CONFIDENCE to GOD.  He also points out the ABC’s of FAITH:

 A is about Acknowledging God (ACKNOWLEDGE) that apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). WE ARE NOTHING! I AM NOTHING! “kung ganito ang iispin ng mga tao na I am NOTHING mababwasan ang mga frustrations natin, mababawasan ang disappointments natin….” sabi yan ni Pastor. Sobrang nag strike talga sa’kin yung mga words na yan, sobrang dami kong frustrations at burden sa buhay ne’tong 2012. Kung iispin ko yung message ng Panginoon apart from Him I am nothing, I can do nothing, most of the reasons kung bakit ako nag seself pity was because of my deeds, deeds that was apart from the plans of Jesus for me. After hearing the lines which I think the Lords wants me to realize, natuwa ako kasi sabi pa din ng Panginoo sa’kin wag ako lumayo. By just admitting na apart from Jesus I am NOTHING mas marerealize ko yung worth ko sa Panginoon, yung Love n’ya para sa’kin. Na despite of my iniquities He is still there to love me. Love at Appreciation na hindi ko nakukuha sa mga taong ginagwan ko ng mabuti pero hindi ko makita yung kahit konting appreciation, at mas lalo pang pinaparamdam na inferior ako. Imagine I am nothing pero God entrusted me in a noble act in this world and that is to serve Him, and much more to be loved by Him So I guess God’s wants to say to me na “Gee, do not go apart from me. Kasi I love you, and I have plans for you, plans that will bear you much fruit”.

B is about Believing (BELIEVE) in everything God has promised to you. At this point I think gustong kong sabihin na naniniwala ako na mabuti ang Diyos na pinaglilingkuran at minamahal ko. Ang Diyos na hindi puro test kundi puro rest ang meron, hindi nagbibigay ng sakit kundi nagpapagaling ng may sakit. Gusto kong maniwala na, at NAINIWALA AKO na mabuti ang Diyos sa buhay ng bawat Kristiyano. By believeng with that sabi nga sa Hebrews 11:1 FAITH is the substance of thins hoped for, for the evidence of things not seen. So if we believe na mabuti ang Diyos sa’tin mabuti s’ya sa atin, for FAITH is the EVIDENCE OF THINGS UNSEEN. Believe that God will provide whatever ypu need, BELIEVE that by His stripes we are already healed. BELIEVE THAT APART FROM HIM YOU ARE NOTHING! BELIEVE THAT JESUS DID THE BEST SACRIFICE! Sacrifice ay hindi yung pagseserve sa church, pag eevangelize NO! Jesus is the sacrifice, the only thing that we nedd to do is BELIEVE THAT HE ALREADY PAID OUR DEBT and everything will follows evangeliasm, worship etc. BELIEVE THAT WE ARE GOOD! God in the goodness of Christ Jesus.

Lastly, C is about Confession/Calling, Romans 10:!3 says, “Who shall ever shall CALL upon the the NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED” when we confess that Jesus is our God and Believe in that, it signifies that we are not apart from Him. adn with that we are pleasing God. Paul called the “pinakamukulit-church” during his time the Corinthians as “Saints” believing and Confessing that the people og God is good, Good in the goodness of Christ.

Grabe after that, when pastor Rommel did his extro before his benediction prayer nag pop-out yung luha sa mata ko, hindi ko alam.. Sobrang tumama sa akin yung last sentence na sinabi nya “Sana pag-gising natin sa umaga at makita natin yung sarili natin sa salamin masabi natin sa sarili natin I AM BLESSED!” ayun na…kahit gano kadami ng frustraions sa buhay dapt we could still be ables to say na I AM BLESSED! Kasi I AM NOTHING APART FROM CHRIDT, and God is doiung all this things, good things, FOR ME. I Believe that He is doing this because He is a good God and i Confess it with my mouth. CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST! that;s the main point, with that masasabi din ng Panginoon sa atin “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” 2 Peter 1:17 :)

Thank you Lord, may I pleased you sa bawat segundo ng buhay na binibigay mo sa’kin. May other people glorify you because of what you have done to me. i acknowledge that apart from you I am nothing so please do hold my hand that I will not depart in your ways. I Believe that you are a Good God, and I pronounce healing,victory,blessing,salvation,revival in this world. And I confess that you are my God, and that you will take me to the paradise in each and every moment of my life, with You. Thank you for loving me, may I continue to developed confidence in You.  In Jesus name. AMEN!

 To GOD be THE GLORY! :)))

Love is for Singing…..

Na-miss ko talga ‘tong kanta ‘to! Sa Dunkin Donuts CD ko ‘to unang narinig.Later ko na lng narinig yung version ng APO. So ganda eh :) Yung simplicity ng kanta makes it something na gustong gusto ko pakinggan :) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trUbN7_3jZU

____________________________________________________________________________
 


Love is for singing this little tune 
Love is for rhyming odd things and moon 
Love is for writing songs that end in June 
Love is for knowing I’ll see you soon 

II 
Love is for writing songs with mushy lines 
Love is for singing these lines in rhyme 
Love is for making memories of time 
Love is for knowing you’ll soon be mine 

CHORUS 
Love is for silly silly things 
That you never think of doing 
And all in a sudden little 
Things have bigger meanings 
It’s getting up at night 
And climbing up a tree so high 
And then you try and touch 
The sky and you ask 
Why, why, why, why… 
It’s getting up at night 
And climbing up 
A tree so high 
And then you try 
And touch the sky 
And you ask 

III 
Love is for answering this crazy crazy 
Questions Love is for getting to the answers 
Through emotions ‘Cause love is a wonder and it’s thrill 
When you’re under 
It’s spell your hearts beating thunder 
Because she’s there ohh - hooh - 
Love is a wonder and it’s a thrill when 
You’re under it’s spell your hearts beating thunder 
Because she’s there 

CODA 
(Love is for singing) 
(This little tune) 
(Love is for knowing) 
(I’ll see you soon) 
Let me tell you ‘bout love 
(Love is for singing) 
(This little tune) 
Let me tell you ‘bout love 
(Love is for knowing) 
(I’ll see you soon) 
Let me tell you ‘bout love…